Korean Air is celebrating its 40th anniversary of scheduled service between New York and Seoul. The carrier celebrated its milestone with a party at JFK on March 29th at which staff members distributed eco-bags and personal thank-you notes with each passenger’s name at the boarding gate. The 40th passenger that checked in for the flight received a complimentary economy class round-trip ticket between New York and Seoul.
“Congratulations on the 40th anniversary of the New York-Seoul route! It means a lot to take part in such a meaningful event,” said Joosung Ryu, the 40th passenger that checked in for the flight.
Korean Air launched scheduled service to New York on March 29, 1979, operating three times a week. In the 1970s, when foreign travel was rare, the national carrier with its Taegeuk logo served as a way for Koreans who lived overseas to feel connected to their country. It also enabled Koreans living in the eastern part of the U.S. to fly home quickly and safely.
Scheduled service from between Seoul and New York increased frequency to 10 times a week in 1986. It has grown into a major route, carrying around 490,000 passengers per year, which is the second highest number of passengers among its U.S. routes, just behind Los Angeles.
Korean Air currently operates flights to New York 14 times a week on an A380, seating 407 people. The entire upper deck is designated for Business Class travelers.